Say, will you stop, look and listen just for a few moments, please, while I read you a little from the Bible. Matthew the nineteenth chapter, the sixteenth verse: "And behold, one came and said unto him, 'Good master, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?' And he said unto him, 'Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one. That is God. But if thou will enter life, keep the commandments.' He sayeth unto him, 'Which?' Jesus said, Thou shall do no murder. Thou shall not commit adultery. Thou shall not steal. Thou shall not bear false witness. Honor thy father and thy mother. And thou shall love thy neighbor as thyself.' The young man sayeth unto him, 'All these things have I kept from my youth up. What lack I yet?' Jesus sayeth unto him, 'If thou will be perfect go and sell what thou hast and give to the poor and thou shall have treasure in heaven and come and follow me.' But when the young man heard that saying, he went away, sorrowful for he had great possessions."
What a terrific story. The story of the young man that came to Jesus but went away. Will you listen just for a few moments, please, while I talk to you about this interesting story?
I can see Jesus standing in the streets of Jerusalem preaching. Maybe he was saying, "Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest." Maybe he was saying, 'If any man will come after me let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me." And there in the crowd was this rich young ruler. He analyzed Jesus. He was critical. He didn't know who he was and whether he should be believed or not. But he watched him. The sermon was over. I can see him going home. But that night he turned and tossed with no rest, away on into the night there was no sleep for him. Waking early, got up, said to his servant, "Come, we must find that man of Nazareth. We must search for him. We must find him." I can see him coming into Jerusalem inquiring where he went. Some said this way. Some said that way. One said up over the hills of Judea. And I can see him going up there to the top of the hill searching for him and there in the valley below he beholds Jesus with a little band of disciples around him and he breaks into a run. And it says he ran down the hillside, threw himself before Jesus, looked up into that matchless face and said, "Master, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?" And Mark...when Mark tells this story, Mark says, "Jesus loved him." Jesus loved him. And I think if there's anything that God loves to see today it's red-blooded young men and women with enough backbone and stuff in them that they're willing to come out and be different. I can see some in the crowd laughing and sneering at this rich, young fellow getting down with all his expensive clothes in the dirt and the dust, saying, "Look at the sissy." But down he'd got and laugh as they may, and said, "Master, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?" And that's the trouble with a lot of you. Oh, I know you go to church on Sunday a little bit. You go through the motions of having a little religion but you're ashamed to come out before the godless, foul-mouthed bunch and take your stand for Jesus Christ. That's hard to do. It takes backbone to do it. And yet...and yet this fellow had it.
But I noticed that he was led to Jesus by the Spirit of God. Jesus said, "And if I go away, I will send the Holy Spirit and when he is come he will reprove the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgement." God says in the Bible, "My Spirit shall not always strive with men." And, my friends, when you turn your back on the Son of God, you do an awful thing. The worst crime that you can commit is to refuse the Son of God into your life as Savior. And that's what happened here. Once the Spirit of God leaves you, my friend, your doom is sealed for all eternity.
Jesus said, "You want to do something? Okay," he said. "Keep the commandments." Now watch it. Put this right up alongside your life. He said, "Thou shall do no murder." Any of you commited murder? You murderer? Jesus said, "Thou shall not commit adultery. Thou shall not steal." Have you stolen? Oh, you say such a nice song. "I got such a blessing out of that song. But sure, you stole it. You took it from the church. You're a thief. "Thou shall not bear false witness." You're a liar. "Honor thy father and thy mother. Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." A terrific standard, isn't it? You know, a chain is no stronger than its weakest link. You can take a glass of water as clear as crystal, and you can put one drop of black ink in that glass of water. You've got a black glass of water. And you can take your life regardless of who you are and one stain of sin in it, one stain of sin in it, my friend, makes it black. It...it...it spoils the whole thing. And that's how God sees your life and saw this young man's life. And he said to him, "Well, Master, all these things have I kept but what do I lack?" You know, a while back when I was coming home from...(I was a church member)...I was coming home on the last car from a dance and with these lips I said out loud, "If this is all these is in life, there isn't much in it." I was there searching and seeking but I lacked something. Reality. And thank God I found it when I received the Lord Jesus as my Savior. That's why I'm a preacher. That's why I want you to have Him. That's why I want you to trust Him and claim Him as your very own. Jesus said, "If thou wouldst be perfect, go and sell what thou hast. Give to the poor and thou shall have treasure in heaven. Come and follow me." Your money. Oh, no. His greed, the love of it. Jesus said, "Get rid of it. If you really want to mean business, come on, get rid of your sin." And the young man heard that saying, he went away. He went away sorrowful? Sure, but he went away. That's the tragedy of it. His history in three words: he went away. In a few moments, you're gonna have an opportunity to turn off that television set and go your way. Will you turn your back on the Son of God, the best friend that you can ever have? That's the tragedy of it. That's the worst thing a man, a woman can ever do in life. And that's why we've come to you, all of these young people, to plead with you that you might pin your faith in Jesus Christ and head for heaven. That's the sweetest piece of news this side of heaven.
A while back when I was out in the California, where we received that little song, "It Was For You," there was a lady there by the name of Mrs. Larson and she said, "You know, there's something I want to tell you boys that may help someone else come to Christ." She said, "I had two brothers. One was a Christian, one wasn't. This one that wasn't a Christian said one day, 'You've been talking about religion and being a Christian and going to church and all this." He said, 'I don't want to be.' He said, 'I'm going out and make my money and have my good times, and later on in life I'll settle down and become a Christian like you say and join church." He went out and made money, hand over fist. He was banking money. He had a section of land paid for in the northern part of California. And suddenly he took sick, twenty-four years of age." They rushed him to the hospital and she said with tears in her eyes, "The day that he died, I went down to the hospital, pushed open the door, walked in. And my brother said to me, 'If I were only a Christian now. If I were only a Christian.'" And she prayed with him and he said, 'Lord, help me to believe.' He was serious then. 'Lord help me to believe.' She prayed with him. And she said his last words were these: 'I don't seem to be able to get the right spirit. I don't seem to be able to get the right spirit.' And he was gone. Yeah. You know where he settled it? Back up there when he was well and strong like you are tonight.
My friend, God has caused you to listen and to look in there tonight on this the first broadcast of the Young People's Church of the Air. We're venturing out in this that you might be won and pointed to Jesus Christ that you might know the thrill that these men, that Roy Craver knows and these young men and women that have been singing and playing for you tonight. That's the greatest thing in all the world. And that's why God has brought this to you, that you might see that nineteen hundred years ago, broken and bruised and battered, Jesus made his way up the hill, Calvary, and there on the cross He died for you that you might live, that you might go to heaven, that you might trust Him, that you com...might come out before your friends and say, "I don't care whether you laugh ot sneer. Jesus Christ is going to be my Savior." Will you do that tonight? Will you make this the night when you settle? Will you make this the night when you make sure? Oh, I hope you do. May we bow our heads in a word of prayer as the fellows sing and the Christians pray.
[singing in the background]
Now the heads are all bowed and your eyes are all closed. I wonder how many of you, how many of you there now, by your radios, perhaps alone, perhaps there with a crowd, the Spirit of God's been knocking at you heart's door. You know what I've said is true. You're a sinner before God and the Lord Jesus died for you. Won't you trust Him? Won't you receive Him? Won't you say, "God helping me tonight, I'm going to trust this wonderful Savior that you speak of." And as we close in prayer just bow your head and say, "God helping me, I'll receive Him right now as my Savior." Will you do that? Will you be among them? And write us to Box 1, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. We'd love to here from of it on this our first coast to coast television broadcast. We'll appreciate it. Our Father, we pray for all these, this unseen audience tonight that the Spirit of God will move on their hearts and bring them to the place where they crown the Savior king of their hearts and not go away from Him into the darkness and into the night without a hope, but have this Savior who is the light of the world. We pray in Jesus' blessed name. Amen.